UPDATE: Chris Long of KSTP did, in fact, post some odds for Mr. Mankato. Check them out! Original story follows.
Every year when Training Camp gets underway, fans of the Minnesota Vikings have been keeping their eyes open for who they think might be the next Mr. Mankato. Yes, even though the team has moved their Training Camp to the new Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan, the moniker of “Mr. Mankato” has managed to stick. Some traditions die harder than others. Plus, it’s just a lot more fun to say than “Mr. Eagan” or “Mr. Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.”
But back to the point, which is this year’s Mr. Mankato competition. There aren’t really any hard and fast rules for someone to win Mr. Mankato, but the primary requirement seems to be that, to be eligible, you must be a third-round draft pick or later. From looking at last year’s list, where some Twin Cities media types posted odds for the informal competition, you don’t necessarily have to be a rookie, either, but you can’t be an established vet, obviously.
There haven’t been any informal odds or anything established this year, so we’re just going to ask all of you: Who do you think is going to put on a performance worthy of this year’s “Mr. Mankato” title?
My personal pick is someone that I think is going to emerge from the battle for the #3 wide receiver spot, which promises to be the most exciting and competitive battle of camp this year. Someone needs to step up behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs on the depth chart, and there’s no shortage of names that are going to be fighting to do just that. I know that Chad Beebe appears to be the favorite to become WR3 at this point, but I think a lot of people are already expecting big things from him in 2019, so I’m going to avoid taking him as my pick.
Instead, I’m going to go with Dillon Mitchell, one of the Vikings’ seventh-round picks in this April’s draft out of Oregon.
Mitchell had an incredibly productive final season for the Ducks, setting the Oregon record for single-season receiving yardage. He came out after his junior year, but slid to the seventh round. His father came out after the draft and said that it was because NFL teams had been fed “false info” about the younger Mitchell’s character, and that he had apparently been given a much higher grade from the NFL’s College Advisory Committee.
I think that Mitchell is going to come into this camp with the Vikings with something to prove, and that he’s going to get plenty of opportunities to do so. That’s why he’s my personal pick to take hom the Mr. Mankato crown in 2019 and make the team’s final 53-man roster, barring injury of course.
Who do you folks see as someone that you think is going to light up Training Camp this year and take home the Mr. Mankato title?